I read with a heavy heart the headline story in the March 15 issue of Money Marketing confirming a life sentence on all those foolish enough to offer independent financial advice.
I have been such a person for more years than I care to recall. I can still remember when following this profession meant providing your client with the best service and advice you could. It meant developing a relationship with your client that would last for many years. As an IFA one felt pride in the job and in the client's pleasure in a job well done.
Now it seems that dedication to this profession will mean a lifetime of looking over your shoulder waiting for the next claim to arrive.
I wonder if death is the answer? Or will there still be claims on your estate? Will inheritance tax planning be replaced by indemnity insurance planning for the IFA?
I can recall when the biggest threat to the industry was perceived to be the Financial Services Act and disclosure. Now we have lifelong indemnity insurance policy premiums, commission sacrifice to fund the one per cent world and the prospect of no independent advice for the vast majority not able to pay fees.
If the future holds anything for the IFA it looks more and more like a change of career and a change of residency is the answer – Brazil, perhaps?
Independent Financial Services, Aberdeen